Synonyms & Antonyms of agitate

1 to cause (as a liquid) to move about in a circle especially repeatedly
  • this room could use a ceiling fan to agitate the stuffy air a bit

Synonyms for agitate

Words Related to agitate

3 to make a series of small irregular or violent movements
  • set the washing machine so it will agitate for four minutes before going into the rinse cycle

Synonyms for agitate

Words Related to agitate

4 to talk about (an issue) usually from various points of view and for the purpose of arriving at a decision or opinion
  • a question which has been agitated by the legislature time and time again

Synonyms for agitate

Words Related to agitate

See the Dictionary Definition 

Frequently Asked Questions About agitate

How is the word agitate different from other verbs like it?

Some common synonyms of agitate are convulse, rock, and shake. While all these words mean "to move up and down or to and fro with some violence," agitate suggests a violent and prolonged tossing or stirring.

an ocean agitated by storms

When is it sensible to use convulse instead of agitate?

The words convulse and agitate are synonyms, but do differ in nuance. Specifically, convulse suggests a violent pulling or wrenching as of a body in a paroxysm.

spectators were convulsed with laughter

Where would rock be a reasonable alternative to agitate?

Although the words rock and agitate have much in common, rock suggests a swinging or swaying motion resulting from violent impact or upheaval.

the whole city was rocked by the explosion

When can shake be used instead of agitate?

The meanings of shake and agitate largely overlap; however, shake often carries a further implication of a particular purpose.

shake well before using

Learn More About agitate

Time Traveler for agitate

Time Traveler

The first known use of agitate was in the 15th century

See more words from the same century

Thesaurus Entries Near agitate




See More Nearby Entries 

Cite this Entry

“Agitate.” Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 Jan. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More from Merriam-Webster on agitate

Nglish: Translation of agitate for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of agitate for Arabic Speakers


Test Your Vocabulary

Difficult Spelling Words Quiz

  • alphabet pasta spelling help
  • Which is the correct spelling?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!